This game has come together pretty fast, unless you count the fact that the original idea was born about six months ago.  My wife,12-year old son and I were in a game store getting stood up for a playtest session of Clockwork Maze.  My son said, "Well, let's just make a new game while we wait!"  We ended up with three pages of notes on a game in which players must develop ways to make water in the desert.  When I came across these notes recently, I decided it was time to blow this baby up!

the story

An alien race, the Aridites, developed great technological advances, including interstellar travel.  But they destroyed their home planet’s ecosystem in the process. Short-sighted farming and grazing practices ruined their agricultural land, turning it to arid wasteland. Strip-mining for precious minerals turned millions of miles of lush terrain into barren, sunbaked quarries. Industry running out of control poisoned their rivers, lakes and streams.  In short, the Aridites have turned their planet into a DESERT, and what they need now is WATER. 


The Aridites have come to Earth and captured YOU, some of the planet’s greatest eco-scientists.  You have been trapped in a giant arena in Earth orbit, built to simulate the broken alien homeworld.  The aliens have commanded that you take the resources available on their planet (all represented in the arena) and turn them into breakthrough technologies to return their scorched planet to a lush paradise.  Knowing how competitive humans are, the Aridites have made this trial into a contest.  You must try to find a combination of breakthroughs that’s better than the opposing team’s, and whoever creates the best water-replenishing solution is the team that will survive!

game in progress
tool cards player aid v2

how to plAy

Set up a hidden map of hex tiles that's different every game.  You start the game with your Scientist and a robot minion who must develop breakthroughs to produce water from the desert landscape.


On your turn, you can choose to: 

  • Explore (reveal a new tile)

  • Craft (use resources to make tools and breakthroughs)

  • Travel (Move across already explored terrain)

  • Gather (Increase your resource production for the turn)

  • Shift Research Focus (Change the breakthrough you're working on)

At the end of each players' turn, gather resources from all occupied resource-producing hexes

Your Scientist must discover and harvest resources, craft tools and take control of terrain features.

Combine all these to develop Breakthroughs that generate clean water.

Whoever’s Breakthroughs can fill their underground cistern first wins.

how to win

© 2019, 2020, 2021 - Chris Stone